As part of our year-end massage performance evaluation, we re-visit various events that occurred throughout the year so we can improve and plan for the next. With all it’s economic turmoil, 2011 has been a good year for massage therapy, and Tranquility Massage has undergone growth in some expected and unexpected ways. In both cases, its always wise to review your successes (and, yes, failures) to realize the best you can be. In keeping with this sometimes painful management exercise, we would like to reflect on the highlights of 2011.
Couple’s massage was a year-round hit. Normally most popular during the spring and summer months, our couple’s massage business remained very popular throughout the year – particularly in vacation and resort spots such as Anaheim, Newport Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, and several other spots in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Much of this was at hotels and inns in these areas, and many clients were either new or returning from out of town. Couple’s massage is a superb way to enjoy togetherness when vacationing, but it wasn’t only vacations these travelers were on. Many were here on business or for personal non-vacation reasons. One thing’s for sure – 2011 didn’t put a damper on the desire for togetherness!
Our chair massage services were particularly in demand this year, both for conventions and other business related events, and for regular business wellness programs as well. Anaheim, Irvine, and Los Angeles were the top performers in these areas, and we even got requests for our chair massage therapy services at some types of businesses we hadn’t expected. Chair massage is particularly effective for administering performance boosting massage therapy in professional situations where a table massage may not be feasible. On the convention side, vendors at several events this year utilized Tranquility Massage to capture a larger number of visitors at their exhibits, and we even had a speaker at one week-long seminar in Anaheim utilize Tranquility Massage’s in-room hotel massage therapy service to keep him conditioned for his marathon presentation.
During the summer vacation months, we had a very large demand for our poolside massage therapy services for various professional and family events. Several in Yorba Linda, Coto de Caza, Huntington Beach, Balboa, and one right on the beach in Dana Point. Tranquility Massage usually sets up a nice shady tent with suitable relaxing music (some like Hawaiian, others reggae – it’s all client’s preference) and a full massage table – often two or more depending on the size of the event. Clients merely hop on in their suits, enjoy a relaxing massage in a resort setting and get their suntan oil or sunscreen applied all at once. Need more after a dip in the pool? No problem! Massage therapists are a definite hit at these types of events, and we always look forward to adding to the fun and enjoyment.
Our sports massage therapy and pregnancy massage therapy services also saw spikes in the summer months, particularly in Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, Irvine, Mission Viejo, and Yorba Linda. Sports massage therapy is normally utilized by professional athletes for maintaining peak physical conditioning and athletic performance, but it also sees a large following with very athletic people from all walks of life. From professional football and baseball players, to surfers, triathletes, and even martial arts instructors, Tranquility Massage has been fortunate to work with wide variety of clients in this area this year. Pregnancy massage therapy was also up this year, due in large part to referrals from past clients to newly expecting family members – with one client in Laguna Hills returning with her second pregnancy! Its definitely good to see that pregnancies and interest in healthy moms and babies is in good standing.
We’ve added new massage therapists in Riverside, Corona, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, and several other spots in Los Angeles and Riverside counties to better serve clients in those areas. These therapists are professionals in various modalities ranging from Swedish and deep tissue massage therapy to more specialized pregnancy massage and medical massage therapy, and all are dedicated to providing our clients with the utmost in relaxing, rejuvenating, and rewarding mobile massage therapy. We’re excited and grateful to have them working with us!
As we reflect on 2011 and plan for 2012, we would also like to thank all of our clients, suppliers, staff, and massage therapists for all of your professionalism, effort, and support, and we look forward to continuing our growth and YOUR health in the New Year!
Of all the communities Tranquility Massage Serves, Irvine is quite unique. Irvine is a master planned community in it’s entirety with a rich history of agriculture, education, business, industry, and cultural diversity. As a master planned city, it consists of very carefully (and beautifully!) orchestrated and segregated housing communities, shopping centers, and business districts. The ‘up’ side to all this is the appearance of these areas is beautifully consistent. There are no ‘unsightly’ industrial areas in view (or earshot) of the residences, businesses are free to engage in industrial activities without irritating the residents, and shopping centers enjoy a high concentration of shoppers.
The ‘down’ side is that venturing out from a home deep in a beautiful gated community to drive across town to a crowded shopping center is likely to be a stressful and inconvenient affair. If you work in Irvine, just think about lunchtime there and you get the idea. For a relaxing and rejuvenating massage, it’s a completely counterproductive effort. As a mobile massage therapy service, we’re accustomed to navigating the streets and communities of Irvine. Doing so after massage therapy is not the most effective way to relax and/or make productive use of time, and it certainly isn’t conducive to experiencing the highest quality massage possible.
That’s why Irvine is a terrific example of how our mobile massage therapists really enhance the massage experience for Irvine residents. The negative experiences of leaving home, driving, waiting, and ‘snapping-out’ of deep relaxation to brave all that to get back home is completely eliminated, leaving the client to remain at home in a blissful, relaxed state – even to fall asleep if one chooses! Many of our Irvine clients remark how glad they are they don’t have to fight crowds and cars after their massage is complete.
Something we haven’t heard before came from a relatively new client living in an apartment community by the Irvine Spectrum. She’s an active professional that leads a very busy social life after hours. She gets weekly deep tissue massage therapy, usually right after work, “so she can have more time to party and relax with her friends when they go clubbing”. In fact, she’ll occasionally have a friend over for a couple’s massage before they take off to Los Angeles to meet up with friends for the weekend.
Another Irvine client operates a financial planning service from her home and finds it difficult to find the time to break away from her work, so she gets an in-home Swedish massage for herself to take the edge off of her day. She even gives our massage gift certificates to her clients when they achieve important financial goals.
Businesses throughout Irvine use our chair massage services to bring relaxation and wellbeing into the workplace through regular on-site massage therapy, health fairs, and special corporate events across industries ranging from legal and financial to video post-production, marketing, and manufacturing. Irvine housing communities use our poolside massage service for summer community events. As far as Orange County communities go, few utilize such a wide array of our massage therapy services as Irvine does, and we’re very grateful to be a part of Irvine’s high quality of life.
I’ve seen an increase in the number of inquiries we’re receiving about our medical massage therapy services of late, and although I’m glad for the interest, I’ve been just as puzzled about the reasons why. Medical massage is typically administered under the guidance of a doctor for medically related conditions ranging from light muscular trauma to more clinical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
Normally, patients under a doctor’s care seek medical massage therapy at the suggestion of their doctor. However, many are seeking massage therapy for relief from the symptoms of their conditions without necessarily needing medical massage therapy.
One of the answers became apparent recently. As the weather gets colder, our bodies naturally react by constricting blood vessels to minimize heat loss through the extremities. This can lead to all kinds of muscular aches and pains in the feet and arms which exacerbates discomfort levels in a wide variety of people suffering from different medical conditions. Although I’m fortunate to be in excellent health, my feet started aching toward the latter half of last month when the cold and rainy weather graced our normally sunny shores.
Massage therapy is a natural circulation enhancer that ALSO helps the muscles and the lymph system purge toxins that otherwise lead to decreased energy levels and increased discomfort in cold weather. Although I haven’t researched the matter, I strongly suspect that cold weather aches and pains are one of the reasons for classic Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Thinking about it, that would make a good research project that I’ll post about later on.
Meanwhile, medical massage seekers don’t always need medical massage per se. Again, medical massage is administered in strict accordance with a doctor’s prescription, where any non-medical massage therapy can be utilized to achieve relief from a wide variety of symptoms that are a consequence of a medical condition. For example, Parkinson’s sufferers can enjoy many benefits such as improved range of motion, muscle loosening and relaxation, and improved stability and mobility to name a few, all with a classical and gently administered Swedish massage. Persons suffering from diabetes can enjoy improved circulation in the extremities with either Swedish massage, a comfortable deep tissue massage, Myofascial release, or any of a number of other massage therapies.
When we receive an inquiry for medical massage, we typically ask what medical condition is being treated and who the physician is. This frequently causes confusion when the client is taken aback by the question (by the way – if this has happened to you we DEEPLY apologize!). However, that reaction typically indicates to us that the client is really seeking relief from the symptoms of a medical condition and not treatment for the condition itself.
After we get the proper understanding of the client’s needs, we can recommend an appropriate massage therapy to bring the client the most effective relief. If that turns out to be medical massage, we will work carefully with your doctor to administer only the massage therapy prescribed.
Which leads to another point… If we are administering medical massage according to a doctor’s prescription, we MUST adhere strictly to his or her prescription. Clients undergoing medical massage therapy will frequently request we treat other areas of the body. Unfortunately, medical massage – of all massage therapies – is strictly administered, and we cannot deviate from the doctor’s prescription of treatment under any circumstances (we LOVE to massage, but doing so outside the scope of the prescription can cause more harm than good).
Therefore, if you are suffering from a medical condition that is bringing you discomfort or dysfunction, medical massage may be an appropriate therapy – provided it is prescribed by a doctor. If not, there are a multitude of other non-medical massage therapies that may bring effective relief for the symptoms of your condition. If you are considering massage therapy to help relieve a medical condition, be sure to ask your doctor of medical massage (massage requiring a prescription) is required in your case, or if any massage therapy you find preferable is acceptable.
As always, if a medical condition is involved, discuss any massage therapy you may be considering with your doctor FIRST, and ALWAYS adhere to his or her guidance when considering massage therapy.
…And of course, DO CALL if you have any questions we can answer!